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BlueBlur2002

What do you think of Sonic's friends..?

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2 hours ago, BlueBlur2002 said:

I just don't want any of 'em playable!

I gotta say, I'm not a fan of the idea that "Sonic's friends" should never be playable anymore. Regardless of how well they have played in the past, these characters were created to be playable in some capacity and they have the capability/potential to be effectively playable. To render these characters into NPCs, only mattering in the plot or, as some people suggested, acting as "power-ups" for Sonic, is a disservice to these characters and their fans.

It's especially unfair for the characters who were effectively playable. Tails and Knuckles played extremely well in Sonic 3&K, there were no issues there, but when they were slapped onto alternate gameplay (Treasure Hunting/Mechs) suddenly they don't deserve to be playable anymore? Amy and Cream were effective playable characters in the Advance games (Amy more so in the first), there were no issues with their gameplay, but now they should be confined to being mere NPCs/power-ups? Cream, as well as Team Chaotix, didn't even get to be truly playable in a 3D game and you're basically saying they should be permanently denied the chance. Blaze was a perfectly fine playable character in both Rush games and is even considered one of the better playable characters in Sonic 06, but now her playability should be restricted to just those three games and she should spend the rest of her history being an NPC?

I'm fine with them being restricted to NPCs as a temporary solution, up until SEGA figures out a true solution, but to say that making them NPCs/power-ups should be the end result is just bullshit IMO.

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Keep in mind part of the issue is in how much and how often Sonic's gameplay has changed. Tails worked fine in the Genesis games, sure, but that doesn't prove that there's always an interpretation of Tails that meshes well with whatever the core gameplay is. Can Tails' abilities be made to work well with the boost gameplay, or Lost World's gameplay? It's still arguable whether or not he worked with the Adventure gameplay, given how severely his flight broke most of his levels. If Sega was to announce a new 2D classic-styled game and Tails was to be playable in it I wouldn't have any strong worries about that (aside from just worrying about the game quality in general) because they've already "solved" that situation, but if it's some other kind of game, it's an open question of whether they can find a way to make the character work in it.

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That is true. In fact, I've always noticed that the 2D games never had an issue with the extra playable characters. Which makes me wish we have original 2D games akin to the Advance series being released right now to allow us to play as the characters again. I can understand the 3D games being Solo-Sonic due to gameplay and whatnot but there's no real reason for the 2D games as of late to be Solo-Sonic as well, other than appeasing the (un)professional critics.

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For some utterly inexplicable reason, I was envisioning this thread as a peaceful exchange of contrary opinions. Ha, ha, ha...I guess that was my optimistic side shutting off reality.

In principle, I really like Sonic having friends, and I like a lot of the specific characters too, especially Tails and Knuckles, but I have a soft spot for others such as the Chaotix too. There aren't really any major Sonic characters I don't have any appreciation for, but there are many that I don't care about that immensely.

I don't think there's an issue with the sheer volume of characters, but rather that, too often, characters haven't been utilized very well, leading them to not contribute much to the game. This makes them seem like pointless or even actively detracting filler, when it reality they could be used to good effect. So many characters have so much potential that is never even fulfilled a tiny bit, but the solution isn't just to include those characters more, but to be smarter about how they're implemented and portrayed and what role they play. I think the key is to use other characters where they make sense and putting real effort into making their roles work (both from a story and gameplay perspective), and to also make sure that they never take away or distract from the core Sonic experience, but rather add to or supplement it. IF those conditions are met, I would be strongly in favor of more Sonic characters playing a role in future games. If not...meeehhhh, just Sonic, Tails, and Eggman isn't too bad, honestly. It's not optimal, but it isn't particularly objectionable to me either.

Ugh, it's frightening to think how awesome Sonic could be if the creators were actually competent... x)

I personally would definitely be in favor of multiple playable characters returning, but only on the condition that they're implemented well, especially since, while it's not ideal, I don't really mind Sonic being the only playable character that badly. (He's actually usually my favorite character to play even in games with multiple playable characters, even in stuff like Sonic 3 & Knuckles...even though I love Knuckles, higher speed and jump is honestly more enjoyable to me overall than gliding and climbing.) I would honestly rather have Sola Sonica for all eternity than poorly implemented multiple playable characters. But yeah, having Tails, Knuckles, and/or others playable in a way similar to how they are in 2D games (same basic gameplay as Sonic with some extra abilities) would be a dream come true.

I also think that "Sanic's sh*tty friends" can be used as a scapegoat for other problems...for example, "gameplay styles that deviate wildly from the basics of what makes Sonic great" is clearly NOT a problem with multiple playable characters themselves, if Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight prove anything. (Though for the record, I've only played a bit of the former and never played the latter, and I actually kinda like the Werehog despite some misgivings, so I'm not giving my personal opinion on them, just the general consensus.)

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Look, OP.  This a pretty big powder keg of an issue and there is a ton of frustration when the general attitude towards your favorite characters is that they are easily expendable/unneeded and a large portion of the fanbase hammers it home for almost a decade that these characters you like are the problem, and it's not so much how they are incorporated but how it has molded over time to be their mere existence as the problem.  That's what gets to me when the notion of getting rid of these characters is mentioned.  Reading what you wrote, it's mostly a game play issue you have with these characters which I'd concede.  I like Big but many many people didn't find his fishing gimmick enjoyable and I'd agree.  I just think it's more productive to go over how to improve them rather than rid them from games.  

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Sonic's friends? I think they're all pretty great characters, who fit into the typical stereotypes or tropes. None of them are better than each other, pretty much equally there.

 

With some actual focus, they could be interesting and not...annoying, because that's totally what they are. Too bad they stopped being so prominent. They contributed sooo much.

 

Though it would be really interesting to see them competently implemented in game-play. I like playing as other characters when I can tell that they are different and worth playing as.

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They're characters that are often put into positions where they're forgettable at best or actively irritating to the player and are to the detriment of the game at worse. Whether it's how they're written or how they play into the actual mechanics of the game. Does this make them bad characters? ...yeah, kind of. Them existing isn't really the cause of the problem, but they've been put into a position where they represent a lot of the problems of the series because a lot of them ARE directly tied to these characters.

I'm not really calling for all of them to be removed since I don't think that's the solution. At the same time I feel like the hate they get is pretty justified. The solution was to take some care into how you used them to at least try and make people like them. Only use them when they fit what your game is about instead of trying to cram as many of them in as possible, I think games like the Adventures and Rush have the right idea where the have a small cast of 6-7 or so but all of them are there for a reason and not all of them have to have their own gameplay style devoted entirely to them. No need for extremes in either direction. Just pick some characters you think would work really well for the game you're making and stick with them.

 

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I don't mind most of Sonic's friends so long as they aren't being forced into our faces each and every time. I notice that the ones that tend to fare better in their introduction are those you have the OPTION of playing as while still being allowed to go through the game as Sonic uninterrupted (eg. Blaze, Gamma, Knuckles and Tails). Most of those that overstayed their welcome were those you were FORCED to play as over Sonic, and at times skewed the entire game to revolve more around them than him, sometimes convoluting or changing the whole aesthetics to befit them (eg. Shadow, Silver).

The same tends to be with the other medias, people tend to lose patience with the spotlight stealers or those that overwhelm the whole plot or skew things to revolve more around them than the games cast (eg. Sally, Chris Thorndyke). Others tend to be welcomed or at least tolerated as something new to the pot.

Generally the only exception to this tends to be Eggman, people don't care how many stories he steals the show, and that tends to get exception because he's the main villain. Even then though people like having focus more on Sonic or another antagonist once in a while. Even Orbot and Cubot aren't minded much as new additions, since they serve well as supporting characters.

Basically, it's fine having friends, just remember the franchise is called Sonic. Sure there will be some bad gimmicks once in a while, even with that moderation (not everyone liked Big's fishing or Rouge's treasure hunting) but that's how experimentation works and that's even more reason to have it serve as an extra option for gamers rather than forcing it as the central focus.

For all people complain about Big and Silver concerning their first appearances for example, they did at least take that criticism in mind right away after. They understood not to shove them down fans throats and most of the time they DO appear afterwards use this better balance and have tried to improve them. Trial and error.

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Jeez, I was not expecting this type of response from such a simple question. Why can't people just accept my opinion? I'm not forcing it on you or anything. Also no one seemed to notice when I said that if the story was well written and we had character development (but they WEREN'T playable) I would have no problem with them.If they played like Sonic but with different abilities, that would be great! 

I also never said all of them should be removed. I think some are unnecessary,  like Big etc but I think that they should stay if the game actually gives them a purpose in story or gameplay.

Edited by BlueBlur2002

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I think everyone is responding negatively because your original post said "lots of them are very UNPOPULAR, UNNECESSARY and COULD EASILY REMOVED". You also said you prefer only Sonic/Tails rather than include any of them even just as appearance. Sticking those together you get "I prefer to have most if not all of Sonic's friend removed because they're useless and no one likes them, I only want Sonic and Tails". And it wouldn't be a surprise people are disagreeing, because their favorite character is considered useless and liked by no one. You later did explain you don't mind as long as good story and development but you also said you don't want any of them playable by their unique ability, which decreases their opportunity for the development and story they can have. 

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I'd much rather play something that has Sonic's friends with it rather than just the main cast. I get bored of the games pretty quickly, which is probably a reason as to why I haven't bothered finishing Sonic Lost World.

(Kind of rolled my eyes at this same discussion again. It's like the only thing I see these days.)

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Frankly, the side-characters are kind of a sticking point with me as well. I grew up with both Adventures on the Dreamcast, and I grew up caring with a lot of these characters, so them getting screwed over kind of really makes me feel... Blah.

I don't have anything against having a game with just Sonic and Tails. I like Sonic and Tails. I like them a lot. They're my two favorite characters. But I want more than JUST Sonic with Tails sitting out on the sidelines. I want to see all the other various characters I care about too.

It's frankly why I read the comics and fanfiction, because otherwise I don't get to see a lot of these characters often outside of heavily flanderized cameos.

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Sonic's friends really need to know when and when not they should be put into a Sonic game. Blaze is an infamous example of a character being placed extremely badly because she's like what, simultaneously a princess in another universe, in the future with Silver and attending Sonic's birthday party? Knuckles loves to show up for no reason too, I don't think they've bothered to incorporate the Master Emerald into his character in the games in almost 15 years now aside from say, Sonic Rivals or something. Ironically one of the only games that COULD find a way to fit him in as a supporting character (Unleashed) is also one of the only ones where he doesn't make a single appearance.

Sonic's friends should show up whenever they're in a place suitible enough for Sonic to believably encounter them. Did somebody steal something? Have the Chaotix there trying to investigate in hopes for some cash reward. Is Eggman trying to level an entire city? Have Team Dark show up with GUN or something. Did something really bad happen to the Chaos Emeralds? Maybe that affected the Master Emerald, which would in turn be a plausible way to bring Knuckles in to the plot because it intervenes with his guardian duty. There's tons of ways to go about doing this without having anyone show up out of nowhere.

Now, that's not to say there aren't any characters who should be shelved. Let's use our pal Silver as my punching bag for this: Every game Silver has shown up in has had to include time travel in some form in order to get him out of the future. 06 & Rivals had good reasons to include him but Colors DS & Generations don't even try to explain how he got there in the first place and like Shadow, I don't know how he managed to show up in Generations considering he wasn't even at Sonic's birthday party in the first place. I know a lot of people who, like there are for every other character in the series are huge fans of Silver. Who knows, maybe there'll be a game that makes it possible for him to show up in the future without resulting in a plot hole, but at the moment this character is virtually impossible to implement correctly and the guy just needs a break from time travelling for once.

I don't like this mentality of minimalism that the recent games have been getting. Granted, I think the reason behind that is more that Pontac & Graff aren't as confident in writing the larger cast of friends as they are Sonic, Tails & Eggman rather than just plain Sonic Team trying to erase all the friends from existence, but I do feel that the backlash from games like 06 played a role in making Sonic Team somewhat afraid to include the friends though, which really does suck. The comics have always had a large cast and honestly it's made that world a lot more built up and colorful to me than the one in the games at the moment.

In terms of playing as multiple characters, while it's not required to make a good Sonic game considering playing as Sonic is fine as it is, there's definitely ways to implement different gameplay styles without resulting in clunky mech shooters or Sonic clones. If the Werehog gameplay got refined to be a little less Night Battle A, they'd be left with a very competent looking polished platformer, much like how the daytime gameplay from that game got polished into being the amazing style people praise Colors and Generations for. With that said, if they do opt for multiple gameplay styles in a Sonic game again, they need to make sure that it doesn't alienate the player from the style they're used to in a Sonic game. They should turn away from experiments with a drastic change to gameplay like Big fishing and make sure that what they have is in line with the rest of the game and isn't going to cause any obvious problems.

So yeah, Sonic's friends are great additions to any Sonic game but they need to be done right and not just tossed in randomly like they have been in the past. Sonic, Tails and Eggman are fine for the occasional break such as Colors but it's not something you can run the entire series on. I'm really hoping that Sonic Team is able to make the right decisions enough to remove the stigma Sonic's friends got from games like 06 and that they can keep playing the roles that make Sonic's world so lively and vibrant in the first place.

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Personally, I can understand BlueBlur2002's opinion, because the Sonic/Tails/Eggman trio are fun. In some games. So I don't think the creator of the topic is wrong in this part, but removing the other, 'unnecessary' characters would be... well, unnecessary. (Sorry for bad jokes.) I think a franchise can only be successful if it has a lot of characters and adventures behind it. And anyway, if you think these characters are unnecessary, why are you bothered by them? If they are unessential, it means they participate in a few Sonic games, so I don't understand how they bother you. And I less understand why do you want to remove them.

And now, answering to your original question, I prefer the Adventure-style games, so I would like to see as many rare characters in the anniversary game as possible. I'd especially like to see Silver, Blaze, E-102 Gamma and Espio. I wish to have a roleplaying game again, like Adventure, where both the gameplay and the story is important. I hope we'll have a very great game for our Sonic's 25th birthday. I know the past years were quite dark, but I MUST be optimist about this question. Sonic must rise again. :)

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12 hours ago, Sean said:

Bye! In fact, one more wasteful post like this I see from you and we'll be doing something about that flippant attitude of yours, and I'm absolutely sick of your thinly-veiled jabs at the boards' discussion when your own contributions aren't any better.

Oh my, a mod is threating me for saying my opinion about a thread where the very first post can be read as "I hate X Y and Z and I want X Y and Z to stay the fuck out of my games."

Clearly this isn't the place for me to hang out nor would I really want to hang out in a place where mods can straight out call me a furry pedophile, a Nazi ir dump thinly vailed threats that could be if I was paranoid enough as an actual threat to track me down and break my knee caps. I don't know what the mods problem is in this place nor do I really give a shit anymore, I had some fun talking with people here who are not powermad fools with a giant stick up their A-holes, but after seeing just what kind of thugs are in charge of this dump and what happens when you say something they don't agree with I can safely say.

I'm outta here!!

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21 minutes ago, Idon'tcare said:

Oh my, a mod is threating me for saying my opinion about a thread where the very first post can be read as "I hate X Y and Z and I want X Y and Z to stay the fuck out of my games."

Clearly this isn't the place for me to hang out nor would I really want to hang out in a place where mods can straight out call me a furry pedophile, a Nazi ir dump thinly vailed threats that could be if I was paranoid enough as an actual threat to track me down and break my knee caps. I don't know what the mods problem is in this place nor do I really give a shit anymore, I had some fun talking with people here who are not powermad fools with a giant stick up their A-holes, but after seeing just what kind of thugs are in charge of this dump and what happens when you say something they don't agree with I can safely say.

I'm outta here!!

Hey man, calm down. No one is after you :(

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I'm one of those people that doesn't mind Solo-Sonic games as long as they're fun (heck, Unleashed and Colors are my favorite Sonic games), but I would really like to see multiple playable characters come back. 

However, I'm perfectly happy with those characters simply being Tails, Knuckles and Amy. As for the others, playable or not, for the most part I could take them or leave them. I love Shadow and I love Vector, and to see one of them return would be greeted by a, "Yay, X is back!" from me, but if they don't return, I've got other games and media to enjoy them in. If there's an in-story reason to bring a character back, by all means bring said character back! If not, though, I'm happy as long as I've got the Core Four, or at least some of them.

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Look, Sonic, Tails, Eggman are all awesome and timeless characters but this isn't the Classic era anymore. We have a huge cast of amazing and interesting characters that are being wasted and don't get enough fair attention or respect anymore, they've already been playable before in past main games before so why is it an issue NOW?

I really hate it people only refer the other characters as Sonic's friends implying that they're nothing more than a bunch of guys Sonic just so happens to have and hang around with which is ridiculous since that's not the case at all, Treat them as characters in their own right! Not as "Sonic's friends"! May I remind you that some of them aren't even technically his friends?

If we have to have a Sonic-only game then can't atleast Tails be playable considering he's always there? Have we ever had a Mario-only game with no Luigi?

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4 minutes ago, Dan-Dude said:

they've already been playable before in past main games before so why is it an issue NOW?

It's been an issue before, too. Problems with other characters being playable can be traced back to Sonic Adventure.

Quote

Have we ever had a Mario-only game with no Luigi?

...yes?

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Even if the characters aren't going to be playable ever again (bullshit), their absence doesn't make sense from a contextual angle. Either the world is being threatened or Eggman is preparing plans in plain view that would warrant investigating by any sane animal with super-powers, or even fucking GUN at this point, but apparently these guys don't care anymore? Like, when Dark Gaia was running around were Rouge and Shadow sipping martinis on a beach because they had taken leave and were damn sure nothing was going to put them back on duty until their days ran out? Like, what?

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